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Specialized S-Works Prevail II helmet review

22 Nov 2017
Verdict:

Very close to being the perfect lid, the Specialized S-Works Prevail II helmet goes a long way to justify its price tag

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£175
For 
Lightweight, comfortable cradle and body, great design
Against 
Very slight discomfort around the webbing strap

The Specialized S-Works Prevail II helmet is the top road offering from the American brand, with only the aero time trial helmet costing more. With a price tag of £175 this lid needs to perform in order to justify such a cost, and it does so almost perfectly.

Weighing just 204g on the Cyclist workshop scales, the Specialized S-Works Prevail II helmet is incredibly light and, although it sounds cliched, you almost forget you're wearing it.

In fact, I often found myself tightening the cradle or readjusting the helmet while stationary, just to ensure it was still there.

The only time I ever did become conscious of wearing the helmet was as a result of my only negative thoughts on it.

The webbing strap, which splits the chin strap from one to two under the ears, was liable to cause some mild - I hasten to add very mild - discomfort around the jaw, if sitting at slightly the wrong angle.

Easily solved with a readjustment, but still this warrants a mention as it is so far the only fault I have been able to find when using the helmet for commuting and longer rides in the lanes.

In contrast to that, the cradle and main body of the helmet are particularly comfortable. Different head sizes and shapes will likely have brands that better suit them but the Specialized S-Works Prevail II helmet is spot on for me.

My head is slightly on the large side, but the helmet on test was a size medium so there is room either way for people with smaller or larger heads.

I've also used a Specialized Airnet but found it slightly too narrow to retain a feeling of comfort over a long ride. The Prevail II, on the other hand, sits happily atop my head regardless of the duration of each ride.

The cradle is tightened and loosened with a turn-wheel at the back, below the body of the helmet. Easily accessible on the move, the tension can be changed on the fly as suits.

The thin side wire of the cradle looks like it should cut in but the flat edge sits smoothly against the side of the rider's head when tightened.

The inside of the helmet's carcass is lined with light padding along the spine between each vent, stopping the polystyrene edges from digging in without acting as sweat sponges.

The venting works well to let sweat escape and only in extreme heat would I expect to find perspiration escaping from the front of the helmet and into my eyes.

The fit and performance are near-perfect, but the helmet also looks the part. Available in five colours options, I've got the gloss white which works with pretty much any kit choice.

Subtle lines, well positioned logos and vents that combine practicality with aesthetic considerations all make for a great looking helmet.

Specification

Weight: 204g
Size tested: Medium
Colours available: Gloss white; Black; Matte black/hyper green fade; Matte black/pink; Matte red/black fade

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